Macromedia/Adobe Flash and Database Integration
A Macromedia Flash movie cannot communicate directly with a database. However, Macromedia Flash movies can "talk" to server-side applications (also referred to as "middleware"). Middleware can query a database and relay data back and forth. There are many server applications available. Some of the most common are CGI, ASP, PHP, ColdFusion and Tango .
Integrating a Flash movie with a database on a server is the key to creating rich, platform-independent web applications. For this process to work, a developer must know many aspects of web application building - including Flash design, ActionScript, writing server scripts, and administering a database. The workload for creating this kind of delivery tends to fall on one person, and requires manual updating when necessary.
Macromedia Flash is a vehicle
For the purpose of this topic, it's best to think of a Macromedia Flash movie as a vehicle for gathering and displaying data. The Flash movie is similar to an HTML-based form in the way that it captures and forwards information. Learning how to use a database with Flash requires a knowledge of how to create a form in Flash.
Additionally, using a database for the web requires specific knowledge of databases, server applications, server scripting languages and areas that are beyond the scope of many developers.
Typically, databases that are used for web purposes include Oracle, Microsoft MSSQL and Access, FileMaker, MySQL, FoxPro and Sybase. These databases all use various protocols that work with server middleware. Some are meant for enterprise-level sites, while others are best suited for low-traffic sites. Some common uses for Flash and database interaction include:
- Dynamic content
- Password protection
- Web application building
- Saving the state of a movie
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